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AfDB, Japan Grant USD 989,000 Technical Assistance to Mauritania’s Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière


Tunis, 22 October, 2009 —The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Japan have approved a grant of USD 989,000 to la Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM) of Mauritania to be paid from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA). The Technical Assistance contribution from FAPA, which comprises over 50% of the overall TA package, will enhance SNIM’s institutional and operational capacities to implement the Environmental and Social Management Plan for the Guelbs II Expansion Project financed in part by the AfDB.

The Guelbs II site, located 25 km northeast of the Zuoerate in the Tiris-Zemmour Wilaya  promises to be one of the most abundant iron ore sites in Mauritania.

The AfDB has a strong track record with SNIM. On 16 September 2009, the Board of the AfDB approved a UA 111.7 million senior loan to finance the establishment of the Guelbs II project, along with other modernization programs. The FAPA grant to SNIM will enhance environmental and social safeguards associated with the construction and operation of the Guelbs II expansion project.

The FAPA funded TA package will also assist SNIM in developing an Environmental Management System leading to ISO 14000 certification, as well as to establish a governance structure for sustainable development and enhanced community relations in the Zouérate region.

The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) is a component of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance Initiative (EPSA), a billion-dollar joint initiative of Japan and the AfDB to promote private sector development in Africa. The FAPA trust fund provides untied grants for studies, technical assistance and capacity building for private sector projects and African institutions such as SNIM. Since FAPA's creation in 2006, Japan has contributed USD 30 million while the AfDB has contributed USD 10 million. The award of the present grant brings the total of FAPA commitments to about USD 23 million covering 28 projects across the African continent.

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